From the Loreta, the pilgrimage site in Prague, where I was recently a visitor: cherubs with an extracted tooth framing a painting of St. Apollonia.

Apollonia is a martyr and the patron saint of dentistry and toothache-sufferers. Before her death, she was tortured by having all of her teeth pulled out.

Side note: when looking for information on dental cherubs I found the website of one Dr. Cherubini, an orthodontist. I saw all the before and after photos and it looks like he does pretty impressive work.


Flag Day celebration in Troy, NY. The city holds the nation’s largest parade for what’s, truthfully, kind of a second-tier patriotic holiday, sandwiched between Memorial Day and the 4th of July. These ladies looked great.


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Louis Agassiz Fuertes (not related to Louis Agassiz)



One day last fall I came across a flurry of confetti, brass bands, sweets and elderly Italians – it was  the feast of Saint Cosmas and Damian.

Born in Cilicia (now known as Arabia) in the third century, Cosmas and Damian were the first children born in a family of seven boys. The twins studied medicine and are credited for being the first to attempt a limb transplant on a human being. They devoted themselves to the rich and poor alike, accepting no payment for their medical services, thus earning their title, “The Silver-less Ones”. These miraculous patrons of medicine were accused of being Christians by two fellow doctors and arrested by Lisia, the governor of the city of Aega. They were tried in a court of Ceasar’s and sentenced to death by torture.

The Saint Cosmas and Damien Society of Somerville-Cambridge MA (my former neighbors) organizes an annual celebration honoring the twins. In 1988, at the request of the Smithsonian Institution, members of the Society traveled to Washington DC to re-enact their feast. A really nice video of the event is here.

Ball, Ships, Lamb

Beautiful beautiful Shaker drawings. Era of Manifestations